DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Elbow abscess following draining, in a 69-year-old woman. An abscess is a localised collection of pus that usually arises from an infection. Here, the damage to surrounding tissue is clearly seen, with a large hole left behind. This abscess was caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which also causes pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). A skin TB infection is known as cutaneous tuberculosis, and can destroy tissue rapidly. Treatment is with a combination of antibiotic drugs, and tests must be carried out for the pulmonary form of TB. The wound will need to be dressed to prevent further infection.
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